Skip to main content

Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups Report on 2001-2002 Department Survey
Division of Professional Matters of the American Philological Association

Please note that the supporting documentation for this report is contained in linked tables that will appear in resizable pop-up windows so that they may be consulted alongside the report; these pop-up windows should be closed as you finish consulting each table. The full report, plus all the tables, are also available as Adobe Acrobat files that may be downloaded and printed. All the tables attached to this report end with a comparison with the means totals from the 1997-2001 and the 1990-1996 surveys. All the CSWMG department survey results since the 1970s have now been entered into an Excel spreadsheet, so we will be able to trace some trends in the field longitudinally, as demonstrated in the two figures attached to this report.


Each year, the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups (CSWMG) of the APA sends out a survey to Classics programs in institutions of higher learning. For the 2001-02 year, 415 surveys were sent out to universities and colleges. The response rate was 49% (see Table I and a complete list of institutions/departments that did not return the 2001-02 survey). This rate of return is a slight improvement over the average response rate for the 1990-96 surveys (45%); we have no response rate for the 1997-2001 surveys since no record was kept of the number of surveys mailed out, but the number of institutions responding this year (203) represents a dramatic improvement over the average number responding for 1997-2001 (130) and is similar to the average number responding for 1990-96 (189).

The 2001-02 survey suggests that trends, good and bad, are continuing. The percentage of women in the field continues to increase. And while women and men receive tenure-track jobs at about even rates (see Table VIb), there is evidence that women are more likely to be found in non-tenure-track and part-time jobs.

For sexual minorities (gays, lesbians and others), the apparent drop in the number of institutions with policies against sexual-orientation discrimination (from 74% for 1997-2001 to 69% for 2001-02) may be a function of fewer surveys returned in 1997-2001; the 2001-02 percentage is virtually the same as the means from surveys prior to 1997 (67.8%) (see Table IX). Also, there appears to have been a slight rise in the number of institutions offering domestic partner benefits. The representation of minorities in the profession, however, as they are defined in the surveys (African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic/Latino/Chicano Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islander Americans) remains very small.

The Status of Women

As was the case through the 1990’s, the percentage of women in the profession apparently has been increasing; according to this survey, women make up 37% of faculty (broken down into 39% in BA-granting departments, 39% in MA-granting departments, and 34% in PhD departments); see Table II. This percentage marks an improvement of 1% on the 1997-2001 mean of 36% (based on surveys returned) and a more substantial improvement on the 30% mean for 1990-96.

Tenured faculty (see Table III) are more likely to be men, with a 70% average in 2001-02 (broken down into 67% in BA-granting departments, 68% in MA-granting departments, and 73% in PhD departments). As a percentage of tenured faculty, the proportion of women has risen to 30% (cf. 28% [1997-2001] and 23% [1990-96]). The percentage of female faculty who hold tenure has fallen to 47% from 48% (1997-2001) and 52% (1990-96). Men have experienced similar losses, down to 63% in 2001-02 from 69% (1997-2001) and 75% (1990-96). Women constitute a higher proportion of faculty without tenure (46%) and represent 50% of all non-tenure-track faculty (while they make up only 37% of the total faculty); see Table IVb. Furthermore, for 2001-02, the percentage of men without tenure who are on the tenure track is 46%, down from 53% in 1990-96 (Table IVa), but for women the percentage is only 37%, down from 46% in 1990-96 (Table IVb). These surveys also suggest a general trend downward in the proportion of Classics faculty who are tenured: 68% in 1990-96, 62% 1997- 2001, and 57% in 2001-02 (see Figure 1); this trend may well be on track to continue with an ever increasing percentage of hires being non-tenure-track (up from 27% in 1990-96 and 31% 1997-2001 to 41% in 2001-02); see Figure 2.

The 2001-02 hiring rates for women had positive and negative aspects. While 49% of tenure-track hires went to women (Table VIb), non-tenure-track and part-time hiring rates were 44% and 53% respectively (Table VIc and Table VId). The virtual parity with men where tenure-track hires are concerned is good news indeed. The higher rate of part-time hires is possibly a further indicator of women gaining a greater percentage of less desirable positions. These patterns are only partially supported by the statistics from the 2001-02 Placement Service report, which includes 161 full-time positions, as compared with the 121 full-time hires reported in these surveys; Placement Service data indicate that women constituted 49% of tenure-track hires and 38% of non-tenure-track hires in 2001-2002.

Of the grants of tenure in 2001-02, 42% went to women (Table Va). This percentage is lower than 1997-2001 (44%) and 1990-96 (45%). This possible decline in the percentage of tenure awards to women is disturbing and merits further investigation. The relative infrequence of both denial of tenure (Table Vb) and hire with tenure (Table VIa) precludes any conclusions about possible gender bias.

Women earned 44% of the PhD’s awarded in 2001-02 (Table VIIa) and 47% of the MA’s (Table VIIb). These numbers are similar to the numbers from throughout the 1990’s. Indeed, as reported in the August 2002 Newsletter, the percentage of Classics PhD’s earned by women has not changed much since the 1970’s.


Minorities remain scandalously underrepresented in the field (see Table II and Table IVc). The percentage of minorities on Classics’ faculties was 2.5% (broken down into 1.9% in BA-granting departments, 0.5% in MA-granting departments, and 3.8% in PhD departments). This percentage has been more or less steady for more than a decade. The percentage of minorities in the profession could fall further: 3.1% of PhD’s (Table VIIa) and 2.5% of MA’s (Table VIIb) were awarded to minorities in 2001-02 (a decrease from the 1997-2001 means of 3.4% and 4.6%).


Comparison with 1997-2001 suggests that courses on minorities and sexuality in antiquity were offered at greater rates in 2001-02; 6.4% (cf. 3.6% in 1997-2001) of institutions reported courses on minorities and 18.7% (cf. 13.1% for 1997-2001) reported courses on ancient sexuality (Table VIIIb; for the number of such courses, see Table VIIIa). Table VIIIb suggests that the percentage of institutions offering courses on women in antiquity apparently declined to 37% from 45% in 1997-2001. This decline is worth some thought; we may be seeing a trend to include women in other courses (e.g. civilization, mythology, and sexuality) instead of isolating them in their own courses.

The circulation, tabulation, and analysis of these surveys are an important and laborious endeavor. I extend my thanks to Ann Koloski-Ostrow, John Rundin, Adam Blistein, Renie Plonski, and John Kirby for their advice, attention, and patience. Greatest praise, however, goes to Barbara McManus, whose tireless efforts are indispensable.

Report submitted by Mark Masterson, Member, CSWMG
APA Division of Professional Matters
American Philological Association
April 2003